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UVU cross-country: Utah Valley men favored to win, women second at WAC Championship

UVU's Adrian Jones (left), Anthony Ocegueda (center) and Geoffrey Kemboi (right) compete at the UVU Invitational on Sept. 1. UVU will compete in the 2018 WAC Cross Country Championship on Saturday.
UVU's Adrian Jones (left), Anthony Ocegueda (center) and Geoffrey Kemboi (right) compete at the UVU Invitational on Sept. 1. UVU will compete in the 2018 WAC Cross Country Championship on Saturday.
Kim Raff

With the 2018 WAC Cross Country Championship set for Saturday in Seattle, the Western Athletic Conference announced its pre-championship coaches polls on Wednesday, and the Utah Valley University men were picked to win the meet and the women were projected to finish second.

On the men's side, Utah Valley was selected to win the WAC Championship, receiving 46 total points and four first-place votes. California Baptist was selected second with 40 points and three first-place votes, while UT Rio Grande Valley took third with 38 points and the remaining first-place vote. Grand Canyon, Kansas City and New Mexico State tied for fourth with 26 points. Seattle U was selected seventh with 15 points, while Chicago State rounds out the poll with seven points.

On the women's side, WAC newcomer CBU is the favorite to earn the conference title with the Lancers earning seven first-place votes and 63 points overall. UVU was picked second with 55 points and a first-place vote. UTRGV earned the final first-place vote and was picked third with 45 points. NM State was next with 44 points, followed by GCU in fifth with 37 points. UMKC was sixth with 34 points, followed by host Seattle U with 23 points. CSU Bakersfield (15) and CSU (eight) rounded out the poll.

Both the UVU men's and women's squads were edged on tiebreakers at last year's league championship to finish in second place on each side. The Wolverine men's team previously won back-to-back-to-back WAC Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015, while the women's team won a pair of titles in consecutive seasons in 2015 and 2016. A season ago, UMKC's men's team won the league title, while NM State's women's team won the women's championship.

The 2018 WAC Cross Country Championships are this Saturday, Oct. 27, at Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle. The women's 6K race begins at 10 a.m. PT, followed by the men's 8K race at 11 a.m.